By John R. Nieb
Fourth graders learned about having healthy bodies and minds during the third annual Wellness Day, which was held at Wells Road Intermediate School from 1-3 p.m. on February 17.
Wellness Day is a collaborative effort between the Granby Public School District’s wellness committee and Sodexo, the district’s food service contractor, to celebrate and promote healthy bodies and minds for the district’s students.
“It is an important part of developing student knowledge of having healthy bodies and minds. This is important for engagement and success in school and beyond,” said Patricia Law, director of curriculum and professional development. “Developing this knowledge early helps students to make good choices throughout their lives.”
For the past two years, sixth graders participated in Wellness Day. However, now that sixth graders are enrolled at Granby Memorial Middle School, this year is the first year that fourth graders are participating in Wellness Day. The wellness committee and Sodexo wanted students at younger ages to learn about healthy choices.
The wellness committee met multiple times over the months prior so they could prepare for Wellness Day by calling sponsors, getting materials for student Wellness Bags and coordinating with Sodexo.
There were six different booths at this year’s Wellness Day. Sodexo’s booth focused on reading food labels and understanding how much sugar is in foods. The Farmington Valley YMCA’s booth promoted healthy bodies by holding a Zumba activity with the fourth graders.
For the Visiting Nurses booth, Jodi French, school nurse supervisor at Wells Road Intermediate School, talked about the need for hydration and water for a healthy body.
The Simsbury Community Farm booth focused on soil and growing plants from seeds and composting.
At the Parent booth, Gennie Busse, senior sales coordinator at Juice Plus, talked about aeroponic gardening as a way to grow food with tower gardens. The Granby Police Department sponsored a booth, which focused on bullying prevention.
Students spent eight minutes at each station, and at the end of the day, each student received a Wellness bag that contained a healthy snack, a water bottle for hydration, the seeds they planted, a smoothie recipe and information about how to judge their hydration level. Some of the wellness committee student volunteers, such as CC Milbrandt, who dressed as Lift-Off, and Sarah Cusano who helped students rotate booth to booth.
“I love watching the kids interact with the volunteers and really engage in the learning about how to have a healthy body and mind. Just watching how much fun the students are having as they are learning is wonderful,” Law said. “Our community’s support of this Wellness Day makes it very special and provides out students with an opportunity to engage with community groups in a positive way while learning at the same time.”
The wellness committee and Sodexo plans on having fourth graders participate in Wellness Day in years to come.